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that the move is a preemptive strike to raise the rates before healthcare reform kicks in. >> a 25% increase. i felt like i had been kicked in the stomach. >> reporter: a healthcare provider herself, pediatrician jan feels helpless. her individual blue cross health insurance premium is going up nearly $300 a month. >> they could never get away with a 25% increase on a group plan but we're the little guys. we have no power. >> that's right. >> reporter: this consumer watchdog says insurance companies are reluctant to raise rates on big company group plans because of their political power. so individuals and small businesses take the hit year after year. and this year, many believe insurers are padding their pocketbooks with higher premiums because they won't be able to once the new federal healthcare law takes effect. >> if this 25% rate hike was to go into effect after the federal mandate to buy health insurance was in effect there would be congressional hearings overnight. >> reporter: so he says insurers are trying to get their rate hikes in under the radar while they are still unregulated. a
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